It seems the days of owning one set of good china for life… may be coming to an end.

New patterns for tableware are coming out at a faster rate than ever before…. partly to entice us to spend money in a tough economy… partly because more of us getting a little more eclectic when it comes to our dining tables… partly because dining is less formal and fancy china just isn’t used (or even bought) as much anymore. 

Tableware companies are showing a bigger variety of patterns and colors in 2009  introductions than they ever have, so there’s a lot to choose from. (But patterns have shorter life cycles today so you may not be able to add pieces in the future.)

Here are a few 2009 kitchen trends and what you can do to give your kitchen, table… or both, a facelift.

1. Mix new tableware with your current china. If you’ve got solid colored china, add serving dishes, chargers, bowls or luncheon plates in a coordinating pattern. Or layer solid-colored luncheon plates or bowls plates on top of your existing patterned china.

2. Look for kitchen counter accessories that pack a punch. Canisters, colanders, spoon rests in a bright color, or slick stainless steel can add color, polish and practicality.

3. Add more color. Tableware has never been more colorful than it is today. Even adding a colored serving dish or a set of bowls can lift our spirits and add life to an old set of dishes.